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Hossein Nazarian

Hossein Nazarian

Iranian Food and Drug Administration, Iran

Title: Aflatoxin situation in Iranian pistachios: A ten years trend analysis


Biography: Hossein Nazarian


Statement of the Problem: Aflatoxins are carcinogenic toxins produced by Aspergillus fungi; contaminate nuts in many regions of the world. Pistachios are the main source of human dietary aflatoxins B1 from nuts worldwide. Iran is one of the main pistachio producing countries, with US together contribute to nearly 75% of the total global pistachio market. In 1997, a national plan for reduction of aflatoxin in Iranian pistachios was conducted through implementation of food safety management system in pistachios production chain. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe how hygienic factors such as food safety issues play an important role in driving the consumption trends in Europe and world. In 2004, global pistachio trade patterns shifted the year after the EU implemented a harmonized 4 ng/g aflatoxin standard in tree nuts. So capital and technical assistance to producers and processors were necessary for Iran to further integrate into the global market where the demand for food safety continues to rise. In 2009, the EU revised the aflatoxin standard in tree nuts to a more relaxed standard of 10 ng/g. As of 2010, Iran has regained the lead in global pistachio exports over the US, with over 160,000 tons exported. Findings: During years 2009-2011 by satisfying improvement in good agricultural practices in pistachio cultivation and harvesting and implementation HACCP in post harvesting and processing practices the contamination level of aflatoxin in pistachio decreased significantly.Conclusion & Significance: Regarding the decrease in the amount of aflatoxin in pistachio in production chain, implement and applying of food safety systems such as HACCP, good hygienic practices and conditions was useful. Establishing an efficient monitoring system for sampling, precise analyzing of aflatoxin in accredited labs and issuing export certificate for tracing pistachio consignments were main technical measures has been implemented in Iran in recent years for successful reduction of aflatoxin in pistachio.